Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean 2009-2010

The Distributive Impact of Public Policies

image of Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean 2009-2010

In 2009, the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean experienced the brunt of the global financial crisis on their levels of activity. However, since the second half of the that year, most countries in the region just begun a vigorous recovery that should strengthen with a regional GDP expansion of approximately 5.2 per cent. The factors behind a more positive performance are both external and internal in nature. Amongst the former can be included the continued dynamism of some key Asian economies, whose sustained demand for products from this region has created important conditions for a recovery in exports, especially in the case of South America.




In 2009, the Guatemalan economy faced serious challenges as attempts were made to mitigate the impact of the global financial crisis, and in particular the impact of the recession in the United States. As result of the fall in exports, remittances, FDI and tourism, real GDP grew by only 0.6%, down from 3.3% in 2008, while per capita GDP contracted by 1.9%. The increase in the trade deficit (to 9.8% of GDP) was offset by the inflow of remittances (10.5% of GDP), notwithstanding the decline in the latter. The balance-of-payments current account deficit (0.6% of GDP) was partially financed with incoming FDI (1.6% of GDP), which, although lower than in 2008, was significant given the international economic crisis.


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